Ex CM of Andhra Pradesh might have lost power. But he has his inner circle of media houses that leave no chance whatsoever to cover up the pitfalls of Chandra Babu Naidu during his tenure.
Only today, Eenadu published a story saying CAG or Comptroller and Auditor General of India had submitted a report to state assembly, which stated that the land under cultivation in Andhra Pradesh has reduced considerably.
The story is loaded with statistics which point out the ‘shortcomings of the present government’. Nowhere does the story mention the ruling party or the CM directly, nor does it mention Chandra Babu or his term. Yet, it comments on the amount siphoned by the ‘government’ through various schemes. It also mentions how the government had misused funds released by the Central government. The main thrust of the story is about CAG submitting a report saying that the funds released under Rashtriya Krushi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) were not used appropriately.
Here are some of the points the article raises:
- While the total land under cultivation was 1.70 crore acres in the period between 2010-11, it stood at 1.52 crores in 2016-17.
- The RKVY is a project that runs on a 60-40 per cent ratio between the central and state governments. The main objective of RKVY is to increase agricultural produce and facilitate betterment of allied industries, through state intervention. Increasing the output and ensuring higher returns for the farmers are among the major goals of the Yojana. The CAG report says while the government spent Rs 1302.3 crores on 479 projects in 20 different areas in 2014-15, by 2018, only Rs 1116.19 crore was spent on similar activities. Though 227 projects worth Rs 881.9 crore were announced, only Rs 765.04 crore was spent on agriculture, animal husbandry, fisheries and allied sectors.
- There was a delay in release of funds from Centre and the funds released between 2014-15 and 2017-18 were not spent in those years. And now, the state government will have to take permissions from the Central government to spend them next year.
- RKVY funds were used to promote state-backed projects like ‘oorura pasu grasa kendralu’ and ‘ksheera sagara mathanam’. Out of Rs 10.41 crore, Rs 8.22 crore was given back. But no accounts of state spending were shown and in some districts.
- Though funds were released for four districts – Anantapur, Nellore, Krishna and Guntur, out of Rs 165.18 crore allocated, only Rs 105.56 crore was used.
- Funds allocated for projects in Anantapur, Bapatla, Nellore and Amaravathi along with the setting up of seed development facility in Krishna district, did not see any money coming in.
- Horticultural projects were also denied funds that were released under RKVY. There are no proofs of any surveys carried out or photos to show state government’s efforts.
Well, media has every right to highlight the failures and mistakes of the government in power. But Eenadu has gone one step ahead and used CAG report to showcase the lacunae to make it more believable.